Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Merkel Faces Grids to Unplug German Nuclear

Chancellor Angela Merkel must carry out a 10 billion-euro ($14.4 billion) expansion of Germany's electricity-delivery network or her decision to exit nuclear power can stunt growth in Europe's largest economy.

Cables are needed to connect new offshore wind farms in the north to the factory-rich south and high-volume lines to France are necessary for imports to cover a shortfall as Germany phases out reactors that provide 23 percent of demand. A grid upgrade is essential, and Germans must end their opposition to new power lines overhead, energy economics professor Christoph Weber said.

"The grids are the Achilles heel and greatest challenge of the energy policy," University of Duisburg Essen's Weber said in an interview. "The government will have to overcome significant problems on the ground to get the lines built."

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Jun 1st, 2011 at 04:39:47 AM EST

PwC: Planning biggest threat to Europe's renewables revolution
European renewable energy capacity grew 30 per cent last year, but byzantine planning rules now threaten to derail expansion drive

Europe's renewable energy capacity grew 30 per cent last year, but its recent successes are in danger of stalling unless the roadblock presented by byzantine and outdated planning rules is removed.

That is the stark conclusion of a major new report released today by PwC, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the International Institute for Applied System Analysis. The report singles out the continent's complex infrastructure planning and permits regime as the biggest single threat to the fast-expanding renewable sector in Europe and North Africa.

The report, Moving towards 100 per cent renewable electricity in Europe and North Africa, follows a study by the same group last year which concluded that it was technically feasible for the region to generate all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2050.

The latest research reiterates that it is possible for a super grid to balance electricity supply and demand using only renewable sources, such as offshore wind farms in the North Sea, solar parks in the Mediterranean and North Africa, and stored hydroelectric facilities in Scandinavia.

But it warns that this scenario will not be realised without urgent and wide-ranging reforms to infrastructure planning regulations across Europe.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Jun 1st, 2011 at 04:41:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Strategic infrastructure?

How quaint and unserious.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Jun 1st, 2011 at 05:27:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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